Mother of British teenager accused of lying that she was gang raped in Ayia Napa says their family has faced ‘an unpredictable struggle’ as her daughter arrives in court
- Teenager had initially claimed she was attacked by 12 Israelis in Ayia Napa in July
- She is charged with causing public mischief by ‘falsely claiming she was raped’
- Her mother said on Monday that ‘our lives have been set aside’ since the incident
A British teenager accused of lying that she was gang raped in Cyprus arrived at court on Tuesday as her mother confessed their family has faced ‘an unpredictable struggle’.
The 19-year-old claimed in July that a group of 12 Israelis had attacked and sexually assaulted her at Cypriot party resort Ayia Napa, before she withdrew the criminal complaint.
The young woman – who has not been named – now reportedly plans to tell a judge that police coerced her into retracting her statement after she was denied a lawyer and held at a police station for eight hours.
The British teenager who accused 12 Israelis of sexual assault pictured at Famagusta District Court in Cyprus on Tuesday
The teenager was charged with ‘causing public mischief’ by falsely claiming she was raped – a charge she denies – and she could face up to a year in jail if found guilty.
During a hearing at Famagusta District Court on Tuesday, Cypriot judge Andreas Papathanasiou refused a request from the prosecutor to play the court a ‘sex tape’ of the incident.
The Briton’s lawyer Ritza Pekri said playing it would cause the defendant distress.
The woman has been supported by her parents throughout her ordeal and her case has been taken up by British campaigning group Justice Abroad, who have appointed a British legal team led by Lewis Power QC to represent her.
Speaking on Monday, her mother said: ‘It’s been an unpredictable struggle since the incident.
‘It seems as if all of our lives have been set aside and paused as everyone continues to move around us.’
The young woman reportedly plans to tell a judge that police coerced her into retracting her statement
The teenager claims she was forced to sign a confession fabricated by police after she was denied a lawyer and held at the police station for eight hours.
She maintains was attacked by up to 12 Israeli men, aged between 15 and 18, who had planned an ‘orgy’.
One of dozens of text message sent between the men in the lead up to the alleged attack: ‘She’s going to get f***** tonight’.
The Israeli teenagers, who had been on holiday before starting their national military service, were arrested in July and accused of rape. They were released a week later.
They all denied attacking the young Briton, who was said to have met one of the group at a pool party and agreed to have sex with him.
The British teenager leaves the Famagusta District Court in Paralimni in eastern Cyprus in July
It comes after the woman’s legal team claimed in August she had been a victim of ‘revenge porn’ after the youths sent friends a video of her having drunken sex – which has since gone viral.
According to Israeli sources, the video has been shared widely via WhatsApp, social media and even on porn sites after one or more of the youths sent it to friends.
The footage is also believed to show the group making derogatory comments about the woman in Hebrew during the encounter.
One source said: ‘The video is everywhere. In it you can hear one of the boys saying in Hebrew “You’re my whore – say you are my whore”.
The Israeli boys were criticised for their jubilant celebrations with friends and family when they arrived back in Israel (above)
‘She doesn’t understand and asks what they are saying and one of them replies in English “We are saying you’re sexy”. It is not very nice. It’s not how men should act. A lot of people in Israel are starting to question their behaviour.’
Her family, who said the teenager has been diagnosed with PTSD, has set up a crowdfunding page asking for money for legal costs, which has raised more than £36,000.
In an online post, the family said: ‘We live in hope that it will be resolved in this time. Thanks to all of you for making this possible’.
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